Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Friday, February 03, 2006

It's The Arts

This post has something to do with bartending, in that it involves an old, favorite regular of mine. Wait for it... it's the best I have to offer in terms of name-dropping.

It's Awards Season, the time when Hollywood bends over backwards to pat each other on the back and congratulate their damned selves for a great year in film. It's funny, really, when you think about how self-congratulatory the entertainment industry is. Can't remember the last time I saw "Best Cop/Firefighter/Nurse/Secretary/Account Executive/Convenience Store Attendant Ever" in prime-time. Do they have a "Walk of Fame"? Maybe it's because they're not wearing Michael Kors?

But, I'm only human, and relatively girly, so I get wrapped up in it. I don't want to be too unaffected; I eat the Awards Season with a spoon, and now I get to share it with the deliciously bitchy Isaac Mizrahi on the red carpet. Oh, the gowns, the jewelry, the hair, the "People Who Died" montage. I just love it so damned much.

I saw a lot of great films this year, and I'd rank them so... my criteria is simple: films that remained, lingered, hung around and entered my dreams, some more than others, and keeping in mind that I haven't seen them all:

1. Hustle & Flow
2. Brokeback Mountain
3. The Constant Gardener
4. Good Night and Good Luck
5. Batman Begins (regardless of Katie Holmes-Cruise's involvement)
Honorable Mention: The 40 Year-Old Virgin

Why is it that funny films never seem to get an Academy nod? And anyone who saw it knows "Batman Begins" got screwed.

I'm rooting for Terrence Howard in "Hustle & Flow" for Best Actor, main. And my favorite nomination is "Hard Out Here For A Pimp" for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture. Woot!!! Who are they going to get to perform that?

Bernadette Peters?

I was having a conversation with a bar regular about how awful the Academy Awards are; it seems we were both visiting the internets for conversation about the topic. The winners are always so damned conventional, we agreed. We were talking about the year (2001?) when the horsey-faced Julia Roberts of "Erin Brockovich" robbed Ellen Burstyn of her award for her stunning, heart-wrenching, groundbreaking performance in "Requiem For A Dream." Or, remember when "Shakespeare in Love" won "Best Picture" over "Saving Private Ryan"? Or "Gladiator" over "Traffic"?

I have a pretty strong feeling that the trite message film known as "Crash" will win it all. And what a shame that would be, in a year of good movies, for a refreshing change. "Crash." Seriously? The entire film seemed so contrived and predictable to me... yes, since you beat it over my head for two hours, I guess I get it, we're all racists, and we don't even know it. Thanks, I feel so enlightened... if you're craving a film about a similar subject matter that will really affect you, watch "Do The Right Thing" again. Now that was a film. And better acted, probably because Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon (nominated!!!?!!) and Brendan Fraser weren't in it.

I used to enjoy this great regular of mine, a Hollywood character actor living in Cincinnati, Daniel Von Bargen. He's best known for his roles as George's boss in "Seinfeld" and as the eye-patched Commandant of the military school in "Malcolm in the Middle." A great guy, the best bar tales, and one hell of a fantastic tipper. But I always knew he'd reached his limit when he'd start talking about what an amazing film "Shakespeare in Love" was. Still, I adored him, and I miss working at that bar, since he lived right across the street.

So, it's Awards Season!! Hell, the Grammy Awards are on Wednesday! Does anyone care? Football ends on Sunday, we've got a few weeks to go until the Olympics, and I'm not about to start a NASCAR thread. Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks...

You know it's hard out here for a pimp
When he's tryin' to get his money fo' the rent
Fo' the Cadillacs and gas money spent
Will have a whole lotta bitches jumpin' ship

- Shug & DJay - Hustle & Flow - "Hard Out Here For A Pimp"